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Maple syrup and cayenne pepper are paired together for a sweet and spicy Gluten-Free Maple Cayenne Chex Party Mix that is sure to be the hit at any party! Sweet, spicy, salty, crunchy, and so addictive, you can’t go wrong with this gluten-free snack mix!
This Gluten-Free Maple Cayenne Chex Party Mix is so easy to make and perfect for easy snacks for lunchboxes or feeding a large crowd at parties! Sweet and a little spicy, party goers will love this crunchy maple snack mix.
This version combines sweet maple syrup and spicy cayenne pepper for a fun twist on gluten-free chex party mix. Packed with gluten-free rice Chex cereal, popcorn, gluten-free pretzels, pepitas, dried cranberries, and pecans, this chex mix recipe is so flavorful and delicious!
What is Chex Mix?
Chex mix is also sometimes called snack mix, party mix, or Chex party mix. It’s a snack mix made primarily with Chex cereal and other add-ins, like pretzels, nuts, bagel chips, popcorn, crackers, etc. Typically, Chex Mix is covered in a seasoning blend or sauce and baked in the oven.
Is Chex Cereal Gluten-Free?
Chex cereal is made by General Mills. There are 9 varieties of Chex cereal on the market – 8 of which are gluten-free. The only Chex cereal variety that is NOT gluten-free is the wheat chex.
For this recipe, I use Rice Chex, but the Cinnamon Chex variety is also quite delicious in this recipe.
What Makes This Maple Snack Mix Gluten-Free?
Rice Chex Cereal
First and foremost, this maple party mix is gluten-free due to the Rice Chex used in the recipe. All of the other add-ins I’ve used are also gluten-free. I chose to add popcorn and gluten-free pretzels to this recipe for some added texture and flavor.
Popcorn is generally gluten-free, especially if you pop it at home, but there are ma
ny pre-popped popcorn products at the grocery store labeled gluten-free. The most important thing to check is that it was not produced on the same line as anything with gluten. There are also many certified gluten-free popcorns on the market.
It may be tougher to find some gluten-free pretzel sticks, but there are a few great brands in stores that I use frequently and can find at many of my local stores. Snyder’s Gluten-Free Pretzel Sticks are certified gluten-free and also dairy-free and egg-free.
Some other gluten-free pretzel options are Gratify Pretzels, Glutino Pretzel Sticks, and Quinn Pretzel Sticks. Always be sure to check the ingredients of the package before using if you are on a gluten-free diet.
Can Maple Cayenne Party Mix be made Dairy-Free and Vegan?
Yes! This Maple Cayenne Snack Mix can be made both dairy-free and vegan! It’s so easy!
To make this chex mix recipe dairy-free and vegan, use a dairy-free butter substitute, like Earth Balance buttery spread for the maple cayenne coating.
You will also want to check the ingredients of your gluten-free pretzels and popcorn to make sure there are no animal byproducts in them.
How to Make Maple Cayenne Chex Party Mix
It’s so simple to make this sweet and spicy Chex party mix! All you need is to combine all of your mix-ins (gluten-free pretzels, popcorn, rice Chex, nuts, etc.) in a large bowl.
Then, you heat the maple syrup, vegan butter (or regular butter if you’d like), vanilla, cinnamon, cayenne, and brown sugar in a saucepan.
Bring the mixture to a boil to let it cook for a bit until it thickens slightly. You want it to be thick, but not too thick.
Then, pour the sauce over the pretzel mixture and stir until it’s completely coated.
Spread out the Chex mixture on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through, until toasted and the sauce is set.
I love to use a silpat so the Chex mix can easily be transferred once it’s cool. You don’t want the sauce to stick to your baking sheet and make a mess.
Let cool and eat!
How to Store Homemade Maple Chex Mix
Maple cayenne Chex mix is a great snack to make ahead for a party or just to put in your kids’ lunches! You can keep the snack mix in an airtight container for up to a week.
Gluten-Free Maple Cayenne Chex Party Mix
For the Maple Sauce:
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp vegan butter (or regular butter if not dairy-free or vegan)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
For the Snack Mix:
- 2 cups popcorn
- 3 cups gluten-free rice chex cereal
- 2 cup gluten-free pretzels (vegan if need be)
- 1/2 cup pecans
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup pepitas
- Preheat oven to 300F.
- Mix together popcorn, rice chex cereal, gluten-free pretzels, pecans, dried cranberries, and pepitas in a large bowl. Set aside.
- In a saucepan, add maple syrup, brown sugar, butter, vanilla, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and salt. Bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, let cook for an additional 3-4 minutes without stirring. Take off heat and whisk together.
- Drizzle over the popcorn mixture and stir until coated.
- Pour out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake at 300F for 20 minutes stirring halfway through.
- Let cool and eat.